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The Astrologist who Foretold Hitler's Downfall.
March 4, 2008 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Recently released documents from the British National Archives have unearthed the role of an astrologist called Louis de Wohl. His claim was that, since Hitler consulted an astrologer to determine what to do, he could look at the same star signs and predict what Hitler's actions would be. The Intelligence services apparently did not believe this - but British Security Coordination, a secret propaganda organisation designed to influence Americans to join the war, did see a possibility in this and sent him on a US tour where he foretold Hitler's imminent downfall. He may also have been asked to leak some information which had previously been decrypted from Enigma messages. A BBC Radio 4 interview with historian Christopher Andrew and writer William Boyd (starting 18min 50 sec in) provides more details.
posted by rongorongo (8 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
His claim was that, since Hitler consulted an astrologer to determine what to do, he could look at the same star signs and predict what Hitler's actions would be.

That's just crazy enough to work.
posted by smackfu at 6:33 AM on March 4, 2008


He may also have been asked to leak some information which had previously been decrypted from Enigma messages.

This could have been a great sub-plot in Cryptonomicon. That book is too short.
posted by straight at 7:40 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of the old joke:

Hitler goes to see an astrologer. The astrologer tells him, "You will die on a Jewish holiday." Hitler asks, "What Jewish holiday?" The astrologer says, "Any day you die will be a Jewish holiday."
posted by jonp72 at 8:17 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Smackfu: in the interview Chrisopher Andrew ends by pointing out that Hitler apparently had no time for astrologists at all. Equally Louis de Wohl appears to have lost interest in the whole field after about 1940.
posted by rongorongo at 9:14 AM on March 4, 2008


You know who else consulted an astrologist to determine his actions as head of state?

That's right, Ronald Reagan. OOOooOOOOoooOOOOOooooH!
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:08 AM on March 4, 2008


"British spies hired an astrologer during World War II to write horoscopes for [Hitler] and other Nazi leaders. They soon regretted it."

Whyever would they regret it?  Did it make them mad when day after day, Hitler's horoscope was all "If you've been feeling a little down in the dumps, this might be a great day to treat yourself to a shopping spree and a bubble bath"? 

Anyway, this part is so funny that I can only pray that someone has bought the rights to turn this story into a movie.  And that "someone" isn't Mike Myers:

"Agents complained de Wohl's flamboyant demeanor was destroying their carefully constructed cover story that his apartment was paid for by a wealthy female patron and that his special operations liaison officer was a mistress."
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:14 AM on March 4, 2008


DecemberBoy: everyone knows RR used Voodoo, not astrology.

"Ups and downs in personal relationships. Your health might be suffering from your stress lately, try to eat right. On the professional life, it's a perfect day to invade Russia."
posted by qvantamon at 1:12 PM on March 4, 2008


I would have sworn I'd read the story years and years ago.

Or perhaps it was that HMG published horoscopes in his name with all sorts of dire predictions for the old boy (which ultimately turned out true, come to think of it, so there really is something to it!).

This sound familiar to anyone else?
posted by IndigoJones at 1:52 PM on March 4, 2008


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